Last Updated on February 18, 2021 by Jenelle Marie Pierce, CSE, Executive Director
When we think about medical practitioners, it’s easy to forget that they’re just people, like the rest of us. Some of them are well-informed, empathetic, and thorough, while others project their own stigma onto us as they’re handing out a new diagnosis. Some of the not so good ones just lack a comprehensive understanding of STIs/STDs, and others are overworked and overwhelmed by the myriad of questions that come after someone is diagnosed.
We understand, it’s virtually impossible to know everything there is to know about all the medical things, and you see hundreds and hundreds of patients with the same diagnosis, but that doesn’t stop us from being crestfallen when we receive minimal information and little support during that diagnosis. Because, to us, this is a big deal, and we probably also know very little about our new infection other than the stigmatized crap we’ve heard over the years.
This interviewee, bless her heart, took the initiative to do the research on her own, knowing there had to be more to her infection, or less, depending on how you look at it. And with her research, she learned that genital HSV1 wasn’t as big of a deal as she had originally thought, as so many of us do, and she grew from that knowledge. How cool is that?! We’re so thankful you came to share your perspective and to encourage others to become their own advocates too! Cheers to you.
1. How old are you?
2. What do you do for a living?
3. What STI/STD do you have/have you had?
4. How long have you had or known you have an STI/STD?
5. Do you know how you contracted this STI/STD?
Unprotected oral sex with a partner who had oral HSV1
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STI/STD?
I have decided to be more cautious when it comes to sexual relationships.
7. Do the people who know you have an STI/STD treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
No, not particularly… My friends have been very supportive.
8. Are you currently under treatment for your STI/STD? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
9. Has having an STI/STD hindered past relationships?
I haven’t had any experiences with that yet, since this is very new.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STI/STD affected your partner?
He is relieved that he doesn’t have genital herpes and was surprised to hear he has HSV1.
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting STI/STD whom you did not tell you had an STI?
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STI/STD?
I am much more educated on how the herpes virus works. A lot of people do not realize that gential HSV1 and genital HSV2 have different transmission statistics. Genital HSV1 only has a much lower transmission rate when not having an outbreak and using a condom.
There are a lot of facts and information that your doctor does not know. Do not take a diagnosis, and a life altering one at that, blindly.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I just want other people to be aware of the differences between HSV types and the areas in which it breaks out…
I thought my sexual life was completely ruined and that I was damaged goods. Had I not done my research, I would not have been aware that the risks differ between the virus types.
Can you relate to this interviewee? Did it help you to read someone else’s story? Have you experienced something similar or do you have some feedback to share with this individual? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!